Bad Robot met Mutant Enemy at Entertainment Weekly’s Visionaries panel at Comic-Con, a candid discussion between J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon.
Abrams, who is prepping “Super 8” with Steven Spielberg, explained how his first connection with the director was being enlisted to restore the Spielberg’s 8mm home movies, “Escape to Nowhere” and “Firelight.” The still-top-secret “Super 8” was inspired by both helmers’ histories directing as teens.
Whedon confirmed rumors that he’ll be directing Marvel’s Avengers movie, but insisted the film is still in the early outline stage. His take on the pulp source material: “What I love is how counter-intuitive it is. These people should not be in the same room, much less the same team, and that to me is the very definition of family.”
After struggling for years pitching square pegs to round-hole nets, both producers found room to explore their unique geek gifts on The WB. “We both benefited from the great square hole that was The WB, where they wanted whatever we were interested in,” Whedon said. “What I learned was, know your audience, and your first audience are the people who are paying you to make the material.”
Though blockbuster projects keep them busy, Abrams and Whedon love the potential that smaller web series offer. Abrams says Bad Robot is developing a few potential online properties, but noted, “Doing something like ‘Star Trek,’ you need the resources of a studio — and also they own ‘Star Trek.'”
Whedon already has an online track record with cult hit “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.” He hoped to apply the same profitable model to Warren Ellis collaboration “Wasteland,” but admitted that “The Avengers” currently takes precedence. Whedon also wants to do a “Dr. Horrible” sequel: “We’ve written a couple songs. If we have the time, we really know what the movie is.”